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Solid waste board relents on trash station cutbacks

Jun 19, 2012 - By Martin Reed, Staff Writer

In an effort to address complaints about decreased operations at trash transfer stations, the county solid waste board approved a new schedule Monday that opens each affected site roughly every seven days.

Five of the nine members of the Fremont County Solid Waste Disposal District board met at the Lander landfill offices for the special meeting that resulted from numerous complaints concerning the Atlantic City site.

On June 1, the district shifted operations from 24/7 availability at seven transfer stations to about three days a month each, with a staff member collecting fees at the sites.

The district leaders cut the hours to address financial concerns about their operations.

The deep cutbacks generated an outcry from South Pass-area users concerned about the influx of summer tourists and others generating trash that residents and businesses could not store on site between landfill visits.

"You've met me halfway, and I appreciate it, and that's all I can ask for," Preston Justice, a citizen concerned about Atlantic City, told the board before the decision Monday.

The change in hours also led to damage and illegal dumping at transfer stations in Hudson and Missouri Valley earlier this month.

Revised hours

The new schedule, provided to board members by district superintendent Andy Frey, shows the service alternating between transfer stations at Atlantic City, Pavillion, Jeffrey City, Lysite, Shoshoni, Missouri Valley and Hudson.

The Dubois site is not affected, while the Wind River Indian Reservation transfer stations in Fort Washakie, Ethete, Crowheart and on 17 Mile Road face a questionable future as negotiations continue between the tribes and the district.

Frey said he and district board member Steve Baumann discussed the options for adding service to the affected communities around the county, considering schedules involving five and seven days a week.

The seven-day-a-week rotation offers hours extending to between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. when open on weekdays, with morning to early afternoon availability on weekends. Each transfer station would be open occasionally on Sunday.

"The seven-day-a-week does get scaled back in the wintertime," when there is less trash volume at the transfer sites, Frey said.

Baumann and other board members Dick Rodgers, Jerry Crews and Mike Adams voted in favor of the new schedule. Noting an upcoming meeting in Shoshoni to talk to community members, board member Rick Klaproth voted against the idea.

Rotation defended

Crews, the board's vice chairman, recalled the public's opposition at previous meetings to inconsistent days of operation. He noted a "vehement dislike of rotating because people want to know if it's Tuesday, they can go there."

Adams, the board's chairman, said the schedule cannot include set days each week for the transfer stations.

"The problem is everybody wants a weekend," he said, adding the district would need to hire more people.

Frey said the new schedule will require users to pay attention.

"Users can take it upon themselves to mark their own calendars," he said.

Baumann said the new schedule takes into consideration "total consumption of manpower and equipment that we have procured specifically for handling the facilities in the outlying communities."

He estimated the total cost to the district for each day of service at a site at $300.

"The community would have to figure out a way to fund that," he said about adding extra service beyond the proposed schedule.

"It seems like a lot of money, but those are our prevailing labor rates and depreciation schedule," Baumann said.

Frey said the district can afford to operate seven days a week under the new schedule, which requires the addition of another worker.

"Right now I think we are a little short-staffed anyway, so adding one wouldn't affect us dramatically," he said.

Transfer station schedules

The approved schedule indicates the following days of operation for each affected trash transfer station for the rest of 2012.

Atlantic City: 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. when open on weekdays; 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. when open on weekends. Open June 23, July 6, July 12, July 18, July 24, July 30, Aug. 5, Aug. 11, Aug. 24, Aug. 30, Sept. 5, Sept. 11, Sept. 17, Sept. 23, Sept. 29, Oct. 12, Oct. 18, Oct. 24, Oct. 30, Nov. 10, Nov. 19, Nov. 28, Dec. 11, Dec. 20, Dec. 31.

Pavillion: 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. when open on weekdays; 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. when open on weekends. Open June 24, June 30, July 13, July 19, July 25, July 31, Aug. 6, Aug. 12, Aug. 18, Aug. 31, Sept. 6, Sept. 12, Sept. 18, Sept. 24, Sept. 30, Oct. 6, Oct. 19, Oct. 25, Oct. 31, Nov. 11, Nov. 20, Dec. 3, Dec. 12, Dec. 21.

Jeffrey City: 1:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. when open on weekdays; 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. when open on weekends. Open June 25, July 1, July 7, July 20, July 26, Aug. 1, Aug. 7, Aug. 13, Aug. 19, Aug. 25, Sept. 7, Sept. 13, Sept. 19, Sept. 25, Oct. 1, Oct. 7, Oct. 13, Oct. 26, Nov. 3, Nov. 12, Nov. 21, Dec. 4, Dec. 13, Dec. 24.

Lysite: 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. when open on weekdays; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. when open on weekends. Open June 26, July 2, July 8, July 14, July 27, Aug. 2, Aug. 8, Aug. 14, Aug. 20, Aug. 26, Sept. 1, Sept. 14, Sept. 20, Sept. 26, Oct. 2, Oct. 8, Oct. 14, Oct. 20, Nov. 4, Nov. 13, Nov. 24, Dec. 5, Dec. 14, Dec. 26.

Shoshoni: 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. when open on weekdays; 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. when open on weekends. Open June 27, July 3, July 9, July 15, July 21, Aug. 3, Aug. 9, Aug. 15, Aug. 21, Aug. 27, Sept. 2, Sept. 8, Sept. 21, Sept. 27, Oct. 3, Oct. 9, Oct. 15, Oct. 21, Oct. 27, Nov. 5, Nov. 14, Nov. 25, Dec. 6, Dec. 17, Dec. 27.

Missouri Valley: 1:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. when open on weekdays; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. when open on weekends. Open June 28, July 10, July 16, July 22, July 28, Aug. 10, Aug. 16, Aug. 22, Aug. 28, Sept. 3, Sept. 9, Sept. 15, Sept. 28, Oct. 4, Oct. 10, Oct. 16, Oct. 22, Oct. 28, Nov. 6, Nov. 17, Nov. 26, Dec. 7, Dec. 18, Dec. 28.

Hudson: 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. when open on weekdays; 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. when open on weekends. Open June 29, July 5, July 11, July 17, July 23, July 29, Aug. 4, Aug. 17, Aug. 23, Aug. 29, Sept. 4, Sept. 10, Sept. 16, Sept. 22, Oct. 5, Oct. 11, Oct. 17, Oct. 23, Oct. 29, Nov. 7, Nov. 18, Nov. 27, Dec. 10, Dec. 19, Dec. 29.